Threats to NZ Dotterel

When we embarked on the project, we surveyed our community volunteers and had a think about what some of the threats to NZ Dotterel could be. We weren't too far off the mark! There are multiple threats, particularly to chicks and eggs. Read on to find out what we discovered. 

Black Back Gulls

We are learning that black-backed gulls are a massive threat to chicks and eggs at all Taranaki nest sites. At the moment chicks are snack sized (check out this video). It’s worth avoiding some of the NZ dot sites at high tide to prevent disturbance of the chicks alerting the gulls. 

Vehicles

At some Taranaki sites vehicles are a serious problem. The local fisherman are generally good as gold staying well below the high tide line. It’s usually riders from out of town that are an issue. If you know any dune riders it is worth letting them know about the shorebirds nesting. If that doesn’t deter them, maybe let them know about the $100K fine for damage to threatened wildlife.

Dogs

Dogs and dotterels don’t mix, science says so (check out this article). Dogs are a real threat to nesting dotterels, chicks and eggs at certain Taranaki sites. Best advice is to avoid walking your dog at dotterel nesting sites during breeding season.

Cats

Cats are dotterel killers (check out this video). We’ve recorded cat prints at all of our main NZ dot nesting sites in Taranaki. If you own a cat, please, please, please keep it indoors at night to keep NZ native wildlife and your cat safe!

Stoats

Stoats are a huge threat to nesting shorebirds. We’ve mainly been catching heaps of weasels around the coast, but we do catch the occasional stoat including this big boy. Please get in touch if you fancy getting involved with predator trapping around the coast. We have an awesome crew of dedicated volunteers.

Hedgehogs

Cute wee mr snuffles loves eggs. Here’s some recent evidence: video. We see loads of hedgehog prints at Taranaki NZ dot nest sites but don’t always catch them in DOC200 traps.

Cows?!

Cows are not a commonly listed as a threat to NZ dotterels. Sadly, when stock escapes they can trample chicks and eggs with a devastating impact on the nesting area. 💔

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